Inciting people to break the law is a road to hell that the government rejects, said Prime Minister Robert Fico after a meeting with President Ivan Gašparovič and Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška on Tuesday, January 12.
Fico's statement came in reaction to protests by road hauliers against the introduction of a new electronic road-toll system in Slovakia. The protests have received the support of opposition parties and the media. According to Fico, such activity dangerously undermines democracy in Slovakia. He added that it is unacceptable for the opposition and media to engage in direct support for illegal activities.
Gašparovič also criticised the protesting hauliers. He said the opposition and media are inciting people into “something that doesn't contribute to the stability of Slovakia”. The hauliers, who had been using their trucks to block one of Bratislava’s main thoroughfares, Rožňavská Street, as part of their protest, lifted their blockade on Monday night.
Fico claimed that the reduced excise tax on diesel made the effect of the new road-toll system close to zero for the state budget. Gašparovič said he considered reducing this tax as early as December but later changed his mind. On January 11, he announced the tax reduction after prolonged protests by hauliers. But the hauliers reject Fico’s assertion, as quoted by the Sme daily, that the new road tolls will not change their costs, or prices for consumers. They also predict that the increased costs from tolls will increase fares on buses between towns and cities by 10 percent. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Jan 2010 at 10:00